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Weekends With Alex Witt

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Us 13, Timothy Geithner 8, Washington 8, Alex Witt 7, Susan Rice 6, California 6, Israel 6, America 5, Grover Norquist 5, Boehner 5, Truckee 4, Copd 4, John Boehner 4, Chicago 4, Willie Geist 4, Obama 4, Nasa 3, Humana 3, Garth 3, Miguel Almaguer 3,
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  MSNBC    Weekends With Alex Witt    News  News/Business.  
   Live news coverage. New.  

    December 2, 2012
    9:00 - 11:00am PST  

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stories trending. kansas city tragedy. the new push for israel settlement plans. fiscal cliff blame. nasa's decision on doomsday 2012. . and kim kardashian sparks a proprotest. we have new chilling details in the tragedy that stuns kansas city. they are prepping for gameday just 20 24 hours after a suicide. tom chong is live where this tragic story ended. tom, good day to you. there what's it like there? >> reporter: it is subdued. we stopped at the tailgating activities. there is tailgating going on but the mood is heavy. just 24 hours ago when belcher pulled out a gun is and shot
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himself. that event left this team in shock. shots rang out at this home, the victim 22-year-old cassandra perkins. >> when we arrived a lady came out and said her daughter had been shot by -- she died a short time later. belcher shot perkins following an argument. the two were parents of a 3-month-old baby. just 10 minutes after the murder, belcher was next to the stadium with a gun talking to his coach and general manager. he thanked them for what they did for him. then pulled the trigger. >> as officers pulled up, they heard the gunshot and the individual took his own life. >> reporter: a candle light vigil who fought his way into the nfl as an undrafted player
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for the kansas city chiefs. former team members can only speculate about the murder suicide. >> you think you control everything. you haven't had the ability to grow up and know that we're not in control of anything. >> reporter: his death follows other player suicides. in 2011 before taking his own life, dave dewerson said he wanted his brain studied. 2 comes during a losing season full of injury and disappointment. our collective hearts are heavy with sympathy, thoughts and prayers for the families and friends affect ed by this unthinkable tragedy. the chiefs will kick off against the panthers in just under an hour. it's an important game, but
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after what happened here, wins and losses are put into perspective. >> thank you. front page politics now. the man chosen by president obama to play a key role in the intense fiscal cliff negotiations is putting blame on the gop. here's timothy geithner on "meet the press." >> the only thing that stands in the way of a deal right now is if a group of republican members decide they are going to block a deal because they want to extend tax cuts. what you can expect from the and the a willingness to sit down and explore what the best way to get through this is. it's in the interest of the american people. >> that was followed by a fierce response from grover norquist, the man behind the no tax hike pledge embraced by many in the gop. >> every republican who had
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impure thoughts has to go back to the drawing board. they have just been told there are no real reforms in this budget. $1.6 trillion in tax increases. >> joining me is eleanor cliff and david dreker thank you for being here. so eleanor, we have timothy geithner who says there will be a deal before the end of the year but it doesn't look like anyone is willing to budge. is that your take away? >> i think there's a rhythm to these negotiations. and right now each side is staking out their optimal position. the republicans reportedly laughed at the proposal. if they can extract concessions from the president, then they can look like they have gotten something in the deal. so i think we're in the early stages of the negotiations, even
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though there aren't that many days left. i'm still optimistic. i think the president cannot be the one who blinks. he won the election and if we do go over the cliff or whatever we want to call it, the president has the high cards because the bush tax cuts all expire. that would save $1 trillion over ten years. so i think there's more fear and. loathe'ing on the republican side. >> impure thoughts. can the gop push back on the will of the public. >> well, it it depends on how the negotiations play out. what i point out is he gets a lot of attention, but it's
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simp simply a manifestation of many republican primary voters are and have been regarding tax increases. that, to me, is an important factor. and i think that if this deal or some deal, whether it's an initial deal is going to get done by the end of this year, you need to look at whether the two sides are having talks about who is going to blink first or trying to reach a win-win deal. if they are trying to sell it as a victory, we have a good chance of at least solving the tax issue heading into january. if it's about making the other guy blink or i don't want to be seen as blinking, we're in for a tougher road here. >> good chance of solving the tax issue. is this an easy sell for the president? >> i don't think anything is easy. if you bone up on your history and look at second term
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presidents and who has been successful and who hasn't, what bogs them down is an inability to deal with congress. i don't think this is easy but the president has embraced a strategy where he believes if he brings the country along washington will follow. the president is out campaigning, reminding the republicans of where public sentiment is. it infur rates them. he has to put the heat on them. >> let's listen to what john boehner said this morning. here it is. >> right now, i would say we're nowhere. peri period. we're nowhere. we have put a serious offer on the table by putting revenues up to try to get this question resolved, but the white house has responded with nothing. they have asked for more revenue than they have been asking for the whole time. >> is that a serious offer if it's just talk that they are willing to raise revenues, and
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if those revenues aren't tax hikes on the top 2% that the president is call iing for? >> it depends on the starleting point versus the end point. for republicans, the issue they are dealing with is they are going to face blame and internal problems no matter what happens. so for them, if they get an offer from the president that they can at least sell as including significant spending cuts or entitlement reform, that when they agree to allow the tax rates go up, they will be grumbling in the party, but there have things we have been asking for and we got that. if way they don't get a deal that looks like that, then they will walk, but they figure that tloost they will hold the base of the party and won't agree to things they don't believe in any way. this is where they are. what is the better of two bad
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roads politically in addition to the fact that just like the president and democrats have a good idea of what's best for the country or to fix the problem, they have a counterview. it's trying to figure out what they can swallow both from a substantiative standpoint and political standpoint. >> the art of compromise, it is an art. it takes a lot of fin necessary. they call the proposal laughable. could it damage any good will that might have come from the first meeting. should the president not have asked for so much out of the starting gate. >> i don't know that he asked that much. the numbers he put out were talked about in the year in and a half ago. so again, i think he's putting his optimal plan out there and he can do some retreating and i
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think speaker boehner has to figure out something that can get enough republicans to go along. and virtually with all republicans. they are going to have to deal with the democrats. they lost the election. they continue to have control of the house but they have lost a lot of ground and have to come to terms with it. this is going to take some time. having watched so many negotiations play out over the years, the ice never breaks until the very last minute. >> you two, thank you so much. good to talk with you as always. pouring rain and heavy storms are heading to nevada after pounding much of northern california. many rivers are expected to crest above flood stage. the rain may be too much, especially in one mountain town. let's go live to miguel
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almaguer. look at the raging waters behind you. >> reporter: what a difference a day makes. we got here yesterday afternoon and the water level was almost this high. we didn't see the rapids coming down this river and this is not at crest. we're told this river at least in had this area right here in downtown truckee will not flood. it's not expected to flood, but that doesn't mean it won't overflow. here in the county, a state of emergency has been issued. this is the third punch in a series of storms that have hammered the west. we have seen rain, wind and snow. but the big concern, not just here in truckee, but all across the state is localized flooding. it straddles between california and nevada. it runs 121 miles long. there's a lot of area they are concerned about.
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it may reach above flood stage. so they may be in a dicey situation later on this afternoon. we have had a steady downpour for the last ten hours. this is the third system to move in. they expect to see the rains until 3:00 this afternoon. eastern time. so it's going to be a dicey situation for the next several hours. >> you know what, for those skiing enthusiasts, this has to be reeking havoc. it's just a big mess all around. thank you, miguel. west coast headlines are next with the new trend of boom rang home buyers. and should the president nominate susan rice as secretary of state? plus office politics with willie geist. this is "weekends with alex witt." new prilosec otc wildberry
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headlines making news on the west coast. the las vegas sun has an article called "boom rang home buyers." in oregon, new calorie restrictions for school lunches aimed at curbing childhood obesity may be hurting them. and the spectrum in utah is a story titled online sales tax debate grows.
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states could collect revenue from out of state internet retailers. states can only bring in sales taxes from companies located within their borders. fresh criticism of president obama and susan rice over the september 11th attacks in bengha benghazi. they got a vote of confidence at a cabinet meeting this past week. >> susan rice is extraordinary. couldn't be prouder of the job she's done. >> she appears to be the top candidate to replace hillary clintons a secretary of state. but could gop opposition change that. joining me is adam shif who said it's unfair to go after rice for information given to her by the cia. so your take on her chance of being approved by the senate. is this worth it to the president? >> i think she would be an
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extraordinary secretary of state. he ought to go forward and nominate her. it wouldn't be a slam dunk, but she's a strong candidate and would be confirmed. and when you look at the criticism of her, it's so completely unjustified. no one is critiquing her job as ambassador where she organized the sanctions on iran. where she went after and depose moammar gadhafi. she's had a phenomenal record and the only criticism of her is she replied on talking points provided by the intelligence community. that seems to me unfair when the director of the cia and intelligence -- to criticize her for that seems a slender read. so the president ought to go
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forward. >> i want to bring forward what lindsey graham said this morning. here it is. >> we know every detail of the bin laden raid. we have photos of him commanding the moment. we don't know anything about what he did on september 11th when it comes to benghazi. if he ordered these people to be helped and the answer was there's nothing we can do, what did he say about it? >> is this true? do you think republicans are going too far? >> i really don't understand the criticism. here is the question. what did the president know about benghazi? the u.n. ambassador has no relation to her qualifications to be secretary of state. and i think the gop has had this really nagging complaint that there was too much information given about the bin laden and reflected too well on the president. they can't. criticize the fact the administration went after and did something the president was able to do and that was hunt
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down bin laden. i don't think it's justified. and i think it's political grapes. but all of this has been a tremendous distraction from what we e ought to be focused on. where are we in hunt for people who killed our ambassador? and bringing them to justice? in an ordinary course of events, that would be the sole focus. >> let's hope no one is taking their eye off of that. that's the most important thing right now. i want to switch topics with you and go to the fiscal cliff. how much harder does that make it to reach. a deal? >> it really doesn't make it anymore difficult. we're see egg the usual choreography of negotiations where the parties start o out with their opening positions. what the speaker doesn't like is he's in a weak position on this
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it issue. he needs to have a heart to heart discussion with his conference and say, look, we lost the election. we lost on this issue. the american people are not with us on this issue. they think those who have done well can be asked to do more. we're going to have to give. the thaj for the president is to know how much he needs to give to the speaker to allow the speaker to sell that to his own conference. >> i have to bet all of you watching have ideas on where the middle ground lies. do you have a position on that? do you see it? >> i have certainly some idea of where the compromise could be. the president has set a target for how much new revenue he wants. you can get a lot of that by raising the rates above $250. if there was additional eliminations, you can get to the same number and do it in a slightly different way.
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therefore, the speaker could claim some credit. the president could get the revenue that the country needs. so there are many ways to skin the cat. i don't think we're going over the cliff. i think you're seeing the kind of dance that goes on in the negotiation when people don't want to disclose too early what their bottom line is. >> so you can say there's no appetite to go over the fiscal cliff? >> there are a few people advocating let's go over the cliff. we'll have a stronger bargaining afterwards. but i think there are few in number. most of us recognize they it will be responsible to give the country that kind of body blow. and one of the other messages of the election and almost every election is the american people want us to work together. and it's not like we e need some great inspiration from on high. they require us to reach a
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reasonable agreement. >> california representative adam chiff, thank you. do you expect the issue to be resolved by the holidays? here are some of your tweets. linda says, no, they will agree to extend out the present budget by six months to work on this. kevin writes i do not think so. the republicans will hold out until the very last day. and sharri says, yes, because they want to be home for the holidays. now number five on our web stories, the protest over kim kardashian's visit to the arab world. she opened a branch of her milk shake shop. fans paid up to $1,400 a ticket to watch her. but some denounced her presence.
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this is the view from times square. dylan dreyer is here with more details. >> we were talking about record-breaking high temperatures in the middle. so things are all over the place. and the main focus is what is going on across northern california. the good news is the heaviest of the rain that we saw is starting to push east. even tomorrow in san francisco, we'll see some sunshine before another round of heavy rain moves in tuesday night into wednesday morning. here's the setup. it hasn't changed. the area of low pressure is steering the storms on shore. you can see that second storm on the left side of your screen is the one that's going to move in for tuesday night. but the heavy rain is over sacramento and san francisco. but it's push iing eastward. we're also going to see that second round of rain bring four or five inches of rain. so something to keep in mind for monday night and tuesday. then as we go into the rest of
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this afternoon, the hours across the great lakes will push eastward. the fog now is being replaced by shower activity. we're going to see some very warm temperatures. we could see records in phoenix, tallahassee, milwaukee and even washington, d.c. will be close to breaking a record high. a lot going on across the country. it's rather bizarre. >> thank you very much. new today tom cole is responding to criticism from members of his own party. the politician suggested the gop should accept president obama's plan to extend tax cuts and debate the tax hikes for the wealthy. >> i do believe we should take things where we agree with the president and take them off the table one at a time. this would strengthen our position in the course of the negotiations. >> joining me e is former governor howard dean and
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congressman tom davis. hello, you guys. good to have you both. so representative davis, i will begin with you. congressman kohl says this move would strengthen the gop position. do you agree or do you think it's a risky approach? >> well, it's a little of both frankly. when you give that up, there's nothing left for the president to agree to. he's won the day. the problem with that is everybody goes off the cliff at this point. everybody's taxes go up and does that strengthen your position? the problem is you need one spokesman for the republicans. the republicans can't have a lot of members out there freelancing their own ideas. you look divided. >> we had timothy geithner defending the plan to avert the fiscal cliff. let's take a look at grover norquist's view. >> every republican who had
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impure thoughts about raising taxes a little because the or guys would be reasonably has to go back to the drawing board. there's no real reforms. $1.6 trillion in tax increases and some of the savings are tax increases. >> does that it congressman kohl is having these impure thoughts that he had categorized these thoughts. does that mean that? >> i think what tom cole brought this up in a meeting. you need to talk about a host of ideas. that's a chilling effect on members being able to express within closed doors their own ideas on this. that's the problem with that. there are a lot of strategies in terms of how we get there. i would agree with grover norquist on this. the proposal is a nonstarter with republicans and probably
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most people who have looked at it. we have to get closer to this. they are both very far apart and holding their ground. that's no way to settle it. >> so all this rang lg about the fiscal cliff isn't the goal. with the president asking for $50 billion in stimulus spending, do you worry they might be losing sight of that? >> the best thing for the country is to go over the fiscal cliff. it maximizing the deficit reduction. there's no deal cut between republicans and democrats. it's not going to reduce the amount of money coming out of the deficit by a lot. so if you do that, you go back to the clinton tax rates, cut some defense and we have a short, mild recession for two quarters. we have to get serious about the deficit e. i have no belief that the
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congress is going to get serious about the deficit. so tom cole was right because he wants to get the republicans back in the mainstream. but the best thing the country could do is go over the cliff. >> timothy geithner doesn't agree with you on that. >> he may or may not. but i looked at this a lot of ways. the people inside washington are awfully smart and awfully out of touch. we need to do something about the deficit. going over the fiscal cliff is the best thing we're going to get out of washington in terms of serious production to the deficit. we will suffer, but we got ourselves into this. we're not going to get out without some pain. i think we are going to go over the cliff. >> let me quickly say i don't favor going over the cliff, but howe regard is right. if you're worried about the deficit, the easiest way is to go over the cliff. you have increases right away.
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>> yeah. >> can i ask you, though, how can you guarantee e that all the extra tax hikes and provisions actually go towards paying the national debt and not more spending and more programs? >> you can't guarantee that but you have a conservative republican congress. they are not going to vote for any spending increase. why not take advantage of that and make the initial cuts and let them go into a stalemate for awhile. that's a pretty big amount. my sges that provides the certainty. we go back to the clinton tax rates. and we make significant cuts to the deficit and they say, hey, they did something substantial about the major financial problem that's facing this country. >> what about the entitlements issue? the president's plan calls for $1.6 trillion in tax increases
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in ten years. $400 billion in entitlement cuts without being specific. are you worried that republicans will have to own the push to make cuts to medicare and medicaid and capping mortgage interest deductions? >> ultimately for republicans the best thing is to get some bipartisan agreement on cutting entitlements. they are disadvantaged on that issue right now. but entitlements are where the money is. you have to look at medicare and medicaid in terms of finding savings. it doesn't get meaningful until you look at those programs combined with revenue. >> can i ask you, is the government capable of spending less money than it takes in? can they generate a surplus in these times. >> they did it during bill
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clinton. >> that was a couple decades ago. >> lyndon johnson was president. it can be done. both parties are guilty. the democrats spend more money without raising taxes. you can't do those things. this is a balance sheet deal. this is not a democratic versus republican issue. the difference between the parties is how much taxes and how many cuts. you need both. we are going to be in for some rough economic times, but it's going to be two quarters. that's what's going to have to happen. i don't think the compromises will be made that need to be made. let me say something about sbiesbie entitlements. we can get $400 billion out of medicare by doing one thing. and that's simply pay doctors and hospitals by the number of patients, not by the number of
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procedures they do. that's a simple thing to do. we need to pay by the patient, not by the procedure. you're going to have control over cost. >> gentlemen, thank you so much. appreciate your time. in today's office politics, my conversation with "the today show" and willie geist. we talked about the incredible year he's had including being named one of the sexiest people alive. we talked about his experience in london while covering the summer olympic games. >> the olympics were so cool. i went to vancouver. and it was three hours behind us there. so i was doing my show at 2:30 a.m. for a month. it was just -- it just sukd the life out of me. you're sleeping for an hour here and there. it was hard to enjoy that. but london was the opposite, which was five hours ahead. starting the day a little later.
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so i did my shows but hosted coverage for the nbc sports network. just to see the scope of that olympic operation inside the sports building, the broadcast center, it blows your mind. people have been there for years connecting wires and setting up feeds and getting all this on the air and coordinating when to o go from one event to the next. it was fun for me. we did six-hour shifts and you didn't know what was coming next. someone would get in the air and say this archery final is crazy. you have a researcher that gives you a card. and in five minutes you're an expert on archery and you get wrapped in it. . when else would you care about archery? >> i became addicted to watching archery. >> it became the cult. statistically, they had the
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numbers to show archery was the thing that took off. >> what were some of the memorable moments for you in london? whether interview people or seeing things. >> from when i was sitting, the athletings would psych until and do interviews. i just sat in one chair and these athletes came in one after the other. a 17-year-old boxer from michigan who won the gold medal, i asked her, why did you get involved in boxing? you don't think as a young girl you would be interested in boxing. she said i just like to beat people up. >> what do you say to that? >> okay. that's the best answer we have had so far. >> can i ask about something? i see you're trying to be modest here. but just in case you didn't have a copy. >> we were doing so well. >> i brought this this. what is this? >> channi inning tatum is a sex
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of a gun. they were going to surprise me on "the today show." somebody leaked it to me the night before. i was at first impressed until i realized every carbon-based male are in there. i have also been laughed at in my own home. i told my wife i don't want to brag but i'm one of the sexiest people. hysterical laughter. not like, oh, cool. she thought it was the most ridiculous thing she'd ever heard. >> can you autograph this for me? it might be worth something in time. >> i'm not going to autograph that. >> oh, yes, you are, willie geist. >> so specific too.
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he's the sexiest 37-year-old born in may with brownish/blond hair. >> it's right here. sexy at every age. i found it. there we go. it's a good picture. >> that's the one people are in the nail salon reading that. who the hell is the 37-year-old guy? >> he's willie geist. you have to write something. like write over your face. i'm going to make him. i promise what he writes. i'll do it in the tag on camera. that's a wrap for office politics. how can you top that? >> my people were to tell you not to mention that. >> i'm sorry. i didn't get the memo. there are no people. i know you want to know.
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here's what he wrote. this is all a terrible mistake. classic willie. next weekend we'll talk with nicklaus christophe. one city's fast food workers go on strike. why it could be coming to a city near you. first, nasa tells us whether the world will end on december 21st as some predict. copd makes it hard to breathe,
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this summer. so glad you're here to talk about this poor lindsay lohan. how could this stuff send her back to jail? >> she was released from probation in march. now with the new allegations of punching a woman in the face, it's a big deal. she has a few other charges from a june 2012 car accident. she lied to police and said her assistant was driving. so now she faces charges. so she has those charges plus punching this woman in the face. >> she's trying to figure out her defense. among the reports is she's trying to dig up information on this tiffany mitchell. >> she hired a private investigator. her thing is her best defense is offense. her team is trying to find things about this woman. all we know is she's a psychic.
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she is married. and people are thinking she's going after lindsay trying to get money. and some people think she might be in it for a quick payday. >> let's look at the best of the worst from this film. here it is. >> what are you looking at? >> out. >> i love you. >> elizabeth wants to play. >> so was the film as bad as most say? >> critics gave it pretty poor reviews. for me it was even hard to watch. i was waiting up for this film to come on. 30 minutes in i couldn't take it anymore. it was like watching lindsay in a halloween costume.
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it was painful. but all the way around, it's gotten poor reviews. . this was sent her on a binge or a cry for help. but it was a bad look. it's bad for her career. it was supposed to be her comeback role. but it hasn't gotten good reviews. >> come on back with the dish and we'll talk about someone else next time. now number four in our web stories. nasa goes after the doomsday prophesy. there's a web page devoted to this. scientists say the doomsday prophesy is pure fantasy. you think? treatment as prilosec otc. now with a fancy coating that gives you a burst of wildberry flavor. now why make a flavored heartburn pill? because this is america. and we don't just make things you want, we make things you didn't even know you wanted. like a spoon fork. spray cheese. and jeans made out of sweatpants. so grab yourself some new prilosec otc wildberry.
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in chicago police releasing physician on crime that suggest part of their job is literally murder. right now the murder rate is 18% higher than last year and shootings are up 10%. but the mayor says crime overall
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is down thanks to some new activity there. here with more is journalist nina buehrle. so welcome. i know you got right there a couple weeks ago. you were in the office with mayor emanuel. how is he dealing with this? >> he's very -- he comes out of the white house and congress. he has a lot of experience in high-pressure politics. he used to be this kind of fly off the handle guy, threatening people, and he's calmed down enormously. he's very mayoral in his demeanor. but he has a problem. the city is in debt. and there's this culture of corruption in the chicago political system. apparently 51 convictions
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annually since 1976. every year 51 chicago politicians and local politicians go to jail. and so this is the system that he finds himself working in. and he's made it an international city, but only part of it is an international city. the rest of it, there's this enormous murder rate. there are a lot of schools in trouble. >> but has he gone on to a political reset? your article has rahm emanuel 2.0. >> i mean he's reset in the sense that he's in charge of a city now. he's not whipping congressmen into shape. he's not a chief of staff in the white house. so he's reset his demeanor.
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but i think if you talk to people who cover him all the time in chicago, he comes in on a kind of reformist theme and yet there's no transparency in there. he replaces the ethics committee without any public input. he's wealthy so he's not somebody who is going to take kickbacks. but the system around him is difficult to change. i don't know if he's up to changing it. you have jesse jackson jr. >> can i ask about him quickly. what led to this downfall? >> it's a corruption case. i mean he's involved in -- >> that's the politics in general?
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>> he's involved with a major corporation that a h a slush fund and there's a federal investigation. the corporation got raided a month before he disappeared. >> well, nina, fascinating article. come back with more and we'll have you again. thank you so much. united nations ambassador susan rice and whether race plays into the criticism. i'll speak with ben jealous here in the next hour of "weekends with alex witt." with the spark miles card from capital one,
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good agreement for the american people that extends tax cuts for the middle class. >> do you think we'll get a deal by the end of the year? >> i do. the only thing standing in the way of that would be a refusal by republicans to accept that rates are going to have to go up on the wealthiest americans and i don't see them doing that. >> if the president doesn't stamp his feet and get his way, he should get into a room and negotiate. instead of hearing rhetoric, that was show, no economics. let's have it in front of c-span cameras. . if the republicans are being reasonable, we'll see that, if they are not, we'll see that. >> joining us is reporter for politico. ladies first. did anything that you just heard suggest we're any closer to it an agreement? >> not really. the white house has put forth this plan, this proposal. congressional republicans, house
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speaker john boehner rejected it. he was flabbergasted by some of the proposals. we're at a standstill right now. until the white house comes back and puts out another plan, they probably don't want to do that or republicans come back with a response and more details about what kind of savings they would like to have a in a future proposal. i think congressional republicans are waiting to see if they can come back to the table with a plan they liked a little more. perhaps one with more details on what kind of cuts would come to these entitlement programs. >> i'm curious about this. this is a man who has never run for office. why does the gop let mim speak for them? >> you know, you're starting to see his coalition crack. you have seen senators come out.
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senator corker who was on "meet the press" today. he has come out and said i'm not going to abide by the norquist pledge. you're seeing it start to crack. sure, he still has a lot of weight over the republican party, but you're seeing that is beginning to change. it looks like taxes are going to go up. republicans know this. if they do get a deal, it looks like tax rates will probably go up. maybe not much for the wealthy, but they will. and if you dent get a deal, they go up for everyone. i don't see this. >> john boehner spoke about his reaction when timothy geithner first shared the president's proposal. let's listen to this. >> i was flabbergasted. i looked at him and i said, you can't be serious. i've just never seen anything like it.
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we have seven weeks between election day and the end of the year. and three of those weeks have been wasted with this nonsense. >> how do you interpret that? does that sound like speaker boehner is willing to compromise? >> it sounds like he would like the white house to come forth with a second offer. house republicans and speaker boehner have spent the last four da days. although they detailed some entitlement programs and savings, they haven't put together much more. we'll see what happens. i doubt they will do it before speaker baoehner puts something on the table. >> the lack of real specifics from either side, do you think they are worried if they put specifics out there they will have to own certain things like
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raising taxes on these people? things that aren't going to be tremendously popular when you poll people one by one. >> there's no question about it. a lot of this is posturing and this deal isn't going to be cra crafting on the sunday morning talk shows. a lot of this is speaking to the base. but i don't think the president has put serious entitlement cuts on the table. the republicans haven't been specific about their own spending cuts on what they would agree to. but a lot of them feel burned about the old debt ceiling negotiation last summer and how that played out. the white house feels very burned about how that turned out. so they think they won the election and polls also show that the blame, if they go over the fiscal cliff, the blame would rest on congressional republicans. so the white house and democrats believe they are holding more cards in this debate.
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>> you talk about the blame on republicans. but i just spoke with former chair of the dnc who said he thinks we should go over the fiscal cliff and we will go over the fiscal cliff. >> he's the first person i have heard say that it in public that he thinks we should go over the fiscal cliff. everyone i talked to in washington wants to avoid going over the fiscal cliff. and most importantly, they don't want to get the blame for it. that's why republicans will probably be motivate d to negotiate with the white house. it might be christmas eve, but in the end, that's what's going to bring them to the table. >> he said after a week or two, there would be the negotiations. he said instead of a cliff, it was like a curb. david, if americans, though, are going to blame the gop more so than the president, how much leverage does that give the president as negotiations are
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underway? >> i think it gives him substantial leverage right now. that's why you see him not revealing all his cards saying you have to come to us. speaker ba speaker boehner has to start with this. e he would look his speakership. and said sure, mr. president, we lost the election. this has to be his starting position. it's only december 2nd. we have a month, i think, lindsey graham saying we're going to go over the cliff. i don't buy that either. we have a motto get through this. you will see both sides move towards that position in the ensuing weeks. . >> thank you, guys. if we don't get there, you can come back over the holidays and work with me. we'll talk about it then. >> sure. >> thank you much. you can watch the full interview with with timothy geithner when it reairs here on msnbc at the top of hour.
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the kansas city chiefs are returning to the football field a day after a deadly tragedy ended outside their stadium. the chiefs line backer javon belcher killed his girlfriend and himself. police don't have a a motive. he usually seemed positive but tried to understand why this happened. >> something has to give. that tender age, that young, you think you're invincible. you think you can control everything. you haven't had the ability yet to grow up and know that we're not in control of anything. >> this is shocking. it shocked everybody. >> joining me now is dave zire. let's talk about the chief's chairman who said they consulted with the nfl. they it left it up to the coach
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and the team captains to decide. so do you think the team made the right decision to play today. >> no, of course, they didn't make the right decision. i'm not sure what qualifies the coach or the captains to act as mental health professionals in this case. it seems unfathomable they would play a game after he took his over life in front of the coach. they are not only wrestling with the suicide of a teammate who was very well liked inside the locker room, but also the fact he's a murderer at the same time and expected to play what is a very violent game 24 hours later. i know this is put on the chiefs shoulders, but the nfl has a horrible historical track record in tragedy and proper perspective. this is the league that played
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the sunday after john f. kennedy's assassination. this was the league that was going to play the sunday after 9/11 until the jets staged a players revolt which forced them to postpone the games. and the nfl is saying the show must go on. frankly, i'm not shocked because of this history, but i am disappointed and a little upset. it doesn't put into perspective the tragedy that just took place in kansas city. >> you talk about it the players who are going to have to get out on the field, reconcile the fact that it player from their locker room is gone. he is a murderer. and that they have to play this violent game. so i know that the chiefs offered counselling for the players. granted this may be the kind of thing that it takes a long time to get your head around, but that said with the ideology of the nfl the show must go on, what could they have done in the
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last 24 hours? >> they could have postpone d te game. that's why the nfl operates on a 17-week basis because there are bye beengs they exist for injury purposes and it does allow the league some leeway in case of emergencies, in case they need to do something. usually it's because of weather because like i said, they are not prone to postpone gauges because of tragedies. but this is a whole other level. i can't stomach hearing they offered counselors. it only takes a couple hours to process something like this. people go to psychiatrists for years after their parents get divorced. we're talking about something that was visceral, violent and people will have to wrestle with so many different emotions. to me, it feels like they are
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breaking a hippocratic oath by letting them on the field. it's a medical responsibility to make sure player's brains are in the right place. i have interviewed a lot of nfl players. they always say to me the most dangerous part of being on the field is not running full steam at another player. it's being distracted. that's when it gets dangerous. how can you expect the chiefs to be anything but distracted. i pray nobody gets injured because if they do, the conjecture and the blame will run wild. >> dave, i appreciate your candor. thank you for talking with us. still ahead a shifting view of americans on health care that might surprise you. also make it a double. fast food workers demanding super size pay hikes. what are the chances they are going to get it it? you're watching "weekends with alex witt." [ male announcer ] humana and walmart have teamed up
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in afghanistan the taliban is claiming responsibility for a deadly attack on a military base. one bomber blew himself up at the front gate hoping to gain entry for the attackers. security forces fired back. two civilians and three afghan troops died. all the attackers were killed. two big stories in the middle east. prime minister benjamin netanyahu continued to build settlement settlements. in egypt rallies against the new
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constitution. morsi has set a december 15th date for a vote on the document. joining me is joel rubin, director of policy and government. good to see you again. we're going to begin with egypt. one of your area's of expertise. is there anything in the new constitution that should concern the u.s.? >> well, the united states has major interests with e egypt. the security is a corner stone with our relationship with the arab world. we have to worry about the evolution of their democracy right now. they are in the middle of a difficult transition process after decades of dictatorship. and this constitutional process has had ups and downs. of course, many of our allies are in midst of democratic process sees that are also difficult. so it's not satisfying everybody.
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it's not satisfying the liberals and the secular groups that we have worked with and know very well. certainly the military will have concerns as well but there's civilian oversight. so it's a mixed bag. >> so the question that has to be asked, does this mean we should overlook potential human rights abuses and violations if that would compromise security and stability? >> absolutely not. that's really where our diplomacy needs to head. we need to ensure that president morsi understands that we do have views about egypt's democratic transition, ga guaranteeing protection of minorities, ensuring there's a peaceful transfer of power. this constitution says eight years is the term limit. these initiatives need to be codified. that they have a significant amount of money invested. we need to make sure the economy doesn't collapse. >> from egypt to israel now. we have secretary of state
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hillary clinton condemning both the vote in the u.n. recognizing palestine as a nonmember state and new settlements. which one is more of a road block to a two-state solution? >> the u.s. never really does get this issue despite our efforts to see if the sides will engage each other. israel and hamas have all been playing to their bases and flexing their muscles. it's against what long standing bipartisan the american presidents have called for. so the two-state solution is the goal. it's what majorities of both populations have asked for but they seem stuck. >> how dicey does the situation become if they build in an area that precludes a contiguous
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palestinian state? and this settlement would end up blocking a contiguous palestinian state. even many in israel have been concerned about this. the question of settlement construction is first and foremost an issue of israeli decision making but they need to be sensitive to the fact this does seem to be a response to diplomatic progress. >> i can read you though e. here's what the former ambassador told "the new york times." this is not just another few houses in jerusalem. this is one of the most sensitive areas of the territory and i would hope the united states will lay down the law, that's meaning to israel. what's your reaction to that? >> the ambassador knows the region very well. this is an issue where every side is testing each other. what we learned from the fight between israel and hamas is the
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u.s. will be engaged either through war or diplomacy. we're going to get pulled in and we need to make sure we're engaged in the days ahead. it causes each side such heartburn. those need to be tamped down. >> joel rubin, always a pleasure. thank you. next, it's a worker's revolt. fast food fight. how will the giants respond? we'll take a look here on "weekends with alex witt." billion dollars to help those affected and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open, and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years. and bp's also committed to america. we support nearly 250,000 jobs and invest more here than anywhere else. we're working to fuel america for generations to come. our commitment has never been stronger.
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want to give you a look at truckee, california. we have been talking about the weather there. the third in a series of storms. it's now starting to snow adding insult to injury. it is a mess. we'll get the details from miguel almaguer.
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we'll take you to some bad weather areas there shortly. in the meantime, fast food workers in the big apple have demands and they are organizing. an estimated 200 workers went on strike thursday. the now asking for a $15 wage and the right no unionize. joining me now is josh idolson who is covering this story for salon.com. who organized the strike? >> the main group is called new york communities for change. >> they are asking for $15 an hour. and the minimum wage, that's more than double what minimum wage would be. so your approach to that. is that realistic? >> sure it's realistic if workers go on enough strikes and are organized around the country. look at what people would have said to people in the auto industry a century ago.
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the question is can they get big enough and can they have the staying power to convince these fast food companies they can't snuff it out. >> give me a report on how successful this strike was. in terms of the eyes of the workers. >> so this was huge. it's something that's never happened in the fast food industry before. any time workers go on strike. peshlsly given how broken the labor laws are. workers are taking a big risk. they did it and plan to continue to build. they plan to have a rally on thursday in new york city. >> why has it taken them this long to strike? you mentioned other industries that have. you said it's the first time fast food workers have struck. >> this is an industry that has huge turnover. also you have limited staffing. that makes it harder to organize. our labor laws are broken. >>. do you think there will be a ripple effect? it was just in new york city.
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is it it going to come to a city near you? >> we're seeing a strike wave in the united states now. look at what happened with the chicago teachers union, walmart. the organizing in new york is tied to organizing in chicago where workers haven't gone on strike, but they dropped a banner inside a macy's. they have been doing a bunch of actions and demanding the same thing. >> do you think they are beco becoming stronger after a period where there was a general consensus they might have been weakening. is there a return to power? >> over the past year, we have seen the vulnerability of unions. but we're seeing vitality in places it wasn't expected. fast food hasn't been a priority for unions for r a long time. it's one of the lowest-paying industries and its conditions characterize a larger and larger portion of the economy. the insecure hours. we're seeing workers courageous enough to take it on head on. >> josh, thank you for bringing it to you. i'm sure we'll be following more
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action. thanks so much. just how big is fast food in america? the industry employs 4 million people serving 50 million people each day. a total revenue in 2010 of $180 billion. over the last two years the average increase in wages is 3.8% but mechanics for buss and trucks have received the largest average raise of 12.5%. social media managers just over 11.5%. daughter's black bean soup spectacular? [ man thinking ] oh, this gas. those antacids aren't working. oh no, not that, not here! [ male announcer ] antacids don't relieve gas. gas-x is designed to relieve gas. gas-x. the gas xperts.
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here. there's still some concern. this river has continued to rise since we've been here. the last time we spoke to you, we had seen some steady rain, now that's turned to snow. the temperatures have dropped quite a bit. but they are still under a state of emergency. this is the reason why. the truckee river is the big point of concern. we're expecting it to crest right about now. and so this river will probably rise a few more feet potentially up to eight feet later on today. that's below flood stage. so this river runs 120 miles long. many of the homes should be safe. in fact, here in truckee, we're told local officials say they do not believe these homes will flood. so it seems to have dodged a bullet. we'll still have this
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precipitation so they will keep a close eye on the elements. they are worried about flash flooding and other storms. this is the third storm in a p couple days. there's not a lot of plals for the water to go. that's the big concern. that's why they are so concerned today. folks will be watching this rest for the next several hours. . >> thank you so much. for a look at the weather across the country, check in online with weather.com. now to new rangeling on cuts. >> the only thing that it stands in the way of a deal right now is if a group of republican members decide they are going to block a deal because they want to extend tax cuts. we can't afford for the wealthiest 2% of americans.
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>> joining us is ben jealous. i'm glad you're here e. i want to ask you about the president's first proposal to avoid the fiscal cliff. he's offering $400 billion in it entitlement cuts but he's not being specific there. how much do you think the country can absorb cuts to programs like medicare and medicaid without reducing quality of life? >> we talked about this in some detail inside the white house. we're comfortable at this stage. he's really going to protect the least of us. that's where our mind should be as a country. we're going into the holiday season. these are times for us to pay keen attention to how we take care of the least, the last and the lost. knowing that this president will fight to make sure that people who have been out of work for a long time still get covered. when you extend insurance for
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the unemployed, it gets paid back. you put that dollar in there, you spend one dollar and the economy gets $1.50 because we spent that. why? because they get turned over and over. people who are poor, when they get the check and go spend it and that keeps small businesses going across this country. that's what the fight is about. are we going to be pragmatic or are we going to be rigid and do things that not even ronald reagan would do himself if you know the history. and quite frankly hurt the economy because we're not willing to admit we have responsibility to take care of poor people. >> so when you were talking with the president and you say you're comfortable with this amount, how comfortable is he that he's not going to to give on this? if you put all this ideology
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into this, is he concerned that's going to have to be an area of give? >> there's great concern. we're all watching how this goes. it's good we have a president who is fighting for all of us. because again, if we take care, for instance, of the folks who have been out of work the longest, it's going to eject dollars that benefit all of us. similarly, we have the republicans trying to hold the entire country hostage oven these bush tax cuts so that the rich get their tax cuts too. what we know is that for a family that makes $50,000, if the republicans get their way and they are able to hold 9 8% of us hostage, their taxes go up. >> do you see any cracks in that though? you have some republicans saying, look. >> yes. and we're trying to push more
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cracks. what grover norquist is saying here is something that not even ronald reagan followed. when times were tough, he gave and said we need to increase some revenues. to say we will never increase revenue, it defies common sense. there are some republicans willing to say that common sense is the better part of wisdom in this case. >> i want to turn to the issue. some have charged that gop senators are picking on rice because she's a black woman but a black woman has already been secretary of state. it's more likely the republicans lambasting rice as a routing a chance to convey they juice against a president who has the whip hand in fiscal cliff negotiations. what do you think? any part of this criticism of susan rice, is it race-based,
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election sour grapes or are legitimate questions about benghazi? >> i have no idea what's going on inside their mind. it is clear they are talking about why four of us had to die that day, that's fair game. at the same time, when you look at the folks that the gop have attacked from jones, you see a trend. so that's a fair question too. what also seems tor clear here is there's an incentive to make sure it's john kerry so scott brown has one more bite at the apple. but i do think it would be better esthetics if the next time they are going to attack a member of the administration,
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they actually showed they weren't fixated on black appointees. one after the other, they seem more comfortable to attack black appointe appointees. that's a big concern for people across the country. >> what about the president though? he clearly is backing susan rice. but is this a fight worth having? i mean -- >> this is a man who has won office, who is not going to be on the ballot again. he said i'm going to back the people who i think can do the best job. if you have an issue with my general because he was talking to this socialite in florida, forget about it. that's not what the war is about. let the man do the job. if rice came on and did what the cia told her to do, that's pretty much what any senator would do too. so this is a nonissue. >> i hope no one takes their eye
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off the ball, which is going after the people that committed this. >> that's what worries me. our country has big issues. to keep fixating on the personality politics, let's get back to making the world safer, the country safer and moving our economy forward. >> can we give you a high five here for this prize? you were awarded this. it's a huge deal. what's this mean to you. >> it's a big deal. i said your daddy won the puffing prize. she starts looking in the box of cereal she eats. but it's nice to be honored by your peers. it's a singular honor in the community. i started out in this town as a community organizer up in harlem when i was 18 years old. and this is the biggest honor i have ever received for what i have done from that day to this.
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to make sure we all get a fair chance in this country. >> nice going, ben jealous. next with the big three, just who is going to get the blame if the u.s. goes over the fiscal cliff? you're watching "weekends with alex witt." we'll be right back. copd makes it hard to breathe,
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...or you can get out there with your friends and actually share something. ♪ the lexus december to remember sales event is on, offering some of our best values of the year. this is the pursuit of perfection. it's time for the big three. let's make a deal, not. burning questions and this week's must reads. let's bring in my big three panel. amy gardener, communication director robert train um, and adviser to the hillary clinton and al gore presidential campaigns doug hathaway. thank you for being here. doug, i'll reach out to you first. timothy geithner saying we'll have a fiscal cliff deal, but then listen to what speaker john
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boehner said today. >> right now i would say we're nowhere. period. we're nowhere. we have put a serious offer on the table by putting revenues to try to get this question resolved. but the white house has asked for more revenue than they have been asking for the entire time. >> so how do you treat the gop in this matter? how much leverage does the gop have? >> they have next to none. you look at the results of the election and where they are now, the white house and the president have done a masterful job of making clear what's going on here. the republicans and the house of representatives are holding 98% of american taxpayers hostage to get bush's tax cuts for the wealthiest to be permanent. that's what's going on here. the polls show people are going to blame the republicans if this happens. speaker boehner talks about a
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serious proposal. they are going to take away loopholes that help middle class taxpayers. that's not a serious proposal. the only way they are going to get the deficits down is get the tax rates back to where they were. everybody knows that's what it it takes. so republicans haven't put a serious proposal on the table. . >> so is doug right? the republicans have next to no negotiating power right now? and what do you do to get some? >> i respectfully disagree. here's why. the constitution makes republicans relevant. that's the reason the white house is dealing with the leadership right now because when you look at the negotiations back and forth, republicans are relevant that both sides are playing hardball right now. let me push back a little bit. if they are serious about a deal, one could make the argument they should put something in writing. when they went to capitol hill, he put nothing in writing.
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he was very ambiguous. so both sides are playing a little game here. no one is serious about putting something in writing because you learn this in fifth grade. you never put your first deal in writing. so both sides need to roll up their sleeves and try to figure out a comprehensive fiscal cliff policy. for the next generation skblp we heard from the democrat and the republican. i'm going to ask the independent journalist here. does the gop have enough leverage to go up against the president and the dems? >> that's the big question. there's no question that the white house and president obama know that they are dealing with a republican-controlled house and whatever deal is found here, if one is found, is going to require negotiation and compromise. but everything we're seeing from the white house and president obama in his messaging and in his trip to pennsylvania on friday suggest that they believe they have the upper hand.
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they want the negotiations to begin with the allowing the tax breaks for the wealthiest americans to expire. and as doug said, it's true ta public opinion is on their side. public opinion overwhelmingly favors getting rid of the tax breaks for the top 2%. so i think what the white house believes is that the compromise and other areas. not on that topic. >> i want to move on to our next topic, which is burning questions. i'm going to pull a line if the latest article. the quote is some lawmakers will even be greeted with revelers singing politically themed christmas carols in the coming weeks. here's my question, what do you mean? >> that was an article about what some of the liberal groups that support the white house are doing to help push his position on the negotiations over the fiscal cliff. and so what's happening is that you've got groups all over the country, making phone calls,
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canvassing, getting out there and putting pressure on lawmakers, republican lawmakers in the house and also democrats in the senate. to make clear what public opinion is. and to push them to compromise and to go with the white house, particularly on those tax rates for the wealthiest americans. one of the things they're doing at the holiday season is they've taken some classic american holiday tunes and rewritten the lyrics and they're sending carolling groups to congress at offices in the states. >> hey, robert, i want to take a look at the title of a new "washington post" article. the title, a detached romney tends wounds in seclusion after failed white house bid. the headline is brutal. can you interpret what mitt romney's life entails right now? >> 25 years after losing the white house in 1972 to richard nixon. george mcgovern was asked in the mid 1980s, how do you get over losing the white house? he said ask me in ten years, i'm still trying to get over it. there's no question, when you
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put your heart and soul in this, when your family goes through the wringer, when you've been running for president, in mitt romney's case for four years, it takes a lot. it takes a lot out of him and it will take a long time for him to get over there, no question about it. >> my burning question to you, doug, after the break. sit tight.
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amy gardner, robert traynham, doug hattaway, are all back on the big three. my big question to you, dourks should the president be taking this political risk of nominating susan rice for the secretary of state? what's the cost/benefit ratio here? >> that's a good question, i think it's mostly upside. she's close to him, knows him well. there could be down side and actually looking weak in not appointing somebody who has been a good, loyal person just because some loud-mouthed politicians have been attacking her. >> to the must-reads, amy, yours is the article i was talking about with robert traynham about mitt romney and his life right now. why do you think it's a good read?
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>> it was written by phil rucker, who i sit next to in the news room at the "washington post." it's an interesting look at what life has been like for governor romney the last couple of weeks, he's been secluded, nursing his wounds. friends have been coming to meet him privately. he's really, he's not had a role with the republican party. he doesn't plan to have one. it's a fascinating look at what life is going to be like for him after this devastating loss. >> robert, how about your must-read? >> politico has a great story in today's politico.com, in reference to the texas republican party. how they have an ongoing relationship with the latino community. all republicans should read it, all americans should read it,i think it's a good blueprint in terms of how to reach out to this constituency. >> doug, my burning question to you should have been synced up with your must-read. >> a take in today's "washington post" on whether president obama should pick susan rice, he said
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it's a high-risk/i had-reward pick. always a pleasure, you guys, thanks so much. that's a wrap of this sunday edition of "weekends with alex witt" up next, "meet the press" with david gregory. we'll look for you next weekend here on the show.
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